On Jan. 21, Missouri Military Academy grapplers participated in a wrestling-only conference tournament. The Greater Missouri Wrestling Conference was created in 2021, and this was its second conference meet. The competing teams included Lone Jack (host school), MMA, North Callaway, Diamond, Adrian, Tipton, Cole Camp and Windsor. Feature photo above, Cadet Trae Griffiths finished the day with all-conference championship honors.
Adrian High School was able to capture the team title, with North Callaway a close second. However, MMA wrestlers individually did a fantastic job, wrestled hard and placed eight wrestlers for conference honors and finished third as a team.
Cadet Trae Griffiths earned MMA’s only conference championship at 144. Griffiths was perfect on the day with five wins, four by pin. This is not only a tough feat to accomplish and a great honor, but Griffiths is also a freshman and has most of his wrestling career still in front of him, according to MMA wrestling coach Tom Allen. Griffiths’ current overall record stands at 11-3.
MMA had two other wrestlers make the finals: freshman Sam Stevens at 126 and freshman Mathew Pfeifer at 106. Stevens’ only loss came in the championship match, going 4-1 on the day with three pins. His current overall record stands at 19-7. Below, Stevens stands on the podium after receiving his medal.
Pfeifer’s only loss also came in the championship match, going 4-1 on the day with two pins. His current overall record stands at 14-6.
Other Colonels earning Honorable Mention All-Conference honors include:
Deonte Kerns, 106
Ryan Miles, 132
Bryson Powell, 150
Gabe Canonico, 157
Ben Huynh, 285
The remaining Colonels wrestling Saturday included:
Caleb Xamis, 113, fifth place
Alex Snyder, 138, fifth place
Evan Corley, 175, seventh place
Adam Swenson, 190, fifth place
Landon Meyer, 215, fifth place
MMA was open at 120 and 165, with two entrants at 106.
“The team was able to have three wrestlers in the finals, amazing that they were all freshman,” says Allen. “I think that also speaks to the future of our program. If we can continue to develop cadets’ wrestling skills, mental and physical toughness, we should continue to improve. As for getting an additional five All-Conference honors on the back bracket and four more wrestlers just right there in fifth place, I think that speaks for the determination and support the cadets give each other. They tend to get better and tougher throughout the season.”
MMA’s next competition will be Jan. 24 at home against Hallsville, Confluence Prep Academy and School for the Blind, followed by another competition Jan. 27 at Boonville.